5 Ways to Become an Informed Medicare Consumer
Each day, you make important choices about your finances, health, privacy, and more.
During National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 6–12, 2016, non-profit organizations and government agencies can help you take advantage of your rights and make better-informed choices.
There are 5 things you can do to become an informed Medicare consumer:
- Know your rights. As a person with Medicare, you have certain rights and protections designed to help protect you and make sure you get the health care services the law says you can get.
- Protect your identity. Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information without your consent to commit fraud or other crimes. Keep this personal information safe:
- Your name
- Your Social Security Number (SSN)
- Your Medicare number (or your membership card if you’re in a Medicare Advantage or other Medicare health plan)
- Your credit card and bank account numbers
Get more information on how to protect yourself from identity theft.
- Help fight Medicare fraud. Medicare fraud takes money from the Medicare program each year, which means higher health care costs for you. Learn how to report fraud.
- Get involved with other seniors with the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). The SMP educates and empowers people with Medicare to take an active role in detecting and preventing health care fraud and abuse.
- Make informed Medicare choices. Each year during the fall Open Enrollment Period (October 15–December 7), review your plan to make sure it will meet your needs for the next year. If you’re not satisfied with your current plan, you can switch during the Open Enrollment Period.
Visit NCPW.gov to learn more about the campaign, see which agencies and organizations are able to help you, and to find out if there are any activities happening in your area. Also, check out our videos for tips on preventing Medicare fraud and see how seniors are learning to stop, spot, and report fraud.